tv Charlie Rose WHUT March 13, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
>> rose: welcoome to our progra. tonight we take a look at afghanistan and ask the question what's next with lara logan, zalmay khalil s.a.d.d., dexter filkins and jere van dyke. >> everyone i speak on the taliban side and the government is not in the government specifically but on the afghan side, the non-taliban side say they are preparing for civil war and if you look at the battlefield. the taliban isn't that interested in the u.s. anymore their focus is on 2014. post the u.s. they've been systematically going after all the leaders of the non-pashtun groups like the tajiks, the uzbeks, and they've been eliminating all the potential competition for the civil war.
that's what they are... their strategy is built on that now. >> for the immediate future, of course, the focus has to be to preclude an escalation in tensions between the afghan people and the coalition. i believe that general allen who is here needs to go back and meet with the people who have been affected by this massacre and we need to show empathy, sympathy, an also financial support for the victims. and if the officer can be protected, if there is an expedited judicial process as transparent as possible, that would be helpful. >> rose: we also continue our series on brain watch this evening with richard davidson and sharon begley, authors of "the emotional life of your brain." >> one of the most sail yen characteristics of emotion is that people respond to life's slings and arrows in different ways. some people decompensate quickly in response to stress. other people appear to be much
more resilient. and from very early on in my career, those are the issues that really captured my attention and my interest and it was clear that in order to gain a better understanding of these emotional styles we needed to look inside the brain because the brain is, after all, the organ of behavior. >> i've covered rich's research for a number of years and i did a book earlier on neuroplasticity and the last chapter of the last book was-- richie-- that book documented the very hard-won revolution in neuroscience as you talked about with eric kandel. namely, the discovery that, in fact, the brain structure and function is not set in stone from the ripe old age of three but, in fact, can change radically depending on the life we lead. >> rose: what next in afghanistan and the motional life of your brain when we continue.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin tonight with afghanistan. this weekend a united states army sergeant killed at least 16 afghan civilians in the province of kandahar. nine of them were children. president obama, defense secretary leon panetta placed separate calls to afghan president karzai immediately after the incident. they expressed condolences and promised a thorough investigation. the president spoke out earlier this evening. >> i talked to president karzai and express mid-deep condolences. obviously, in no way is this representative of the enormous sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made in afghanistan. it does signal, though, the importance of us transitioning in accordance with my plan so afghans take the lead for their own security and we can get our troops home. >> rose: this shooting comes at
a time of strained relations between washington and kabul. deadly riots erupted last month after american personnel burned korans at a military base. joining me from washington, lara logan. she is a chief foreign affairs correspondent for cbs news. zalmay khalilzad, a former ambassador to iraq, afghanistan and the united nations. and seth jones is a senior political scientist at the rand corporation. with me in new york, dexter filkins, he writes for the "new yorker" magazine and has covered wars in iraq and afghanistan. and jere van dyke, a journalist and consultant for cbs news. i am pleased to have them on this program. let me begin with dexter since he's sitting to my left. what now? >> well, i think this is the beginning of the end. certainly feels that way. i think the question is what... the only question is what the end looks like. if, as president obama has said, we stop fighting there by next year and we will be gone by 2014
i mean, i think at this point it looks pretty bleak. if you just take exhibit a, the afghan government, the government that we have largely built in which the americans are fighting and daying to defend it is corrupt from top to bottom. it does not have a large degree of support of the afghan people. can that outlast our presence after we leave? there's not a lot of evidence in that can. it's not looking good right now. >> rose: seth, what now? >> i would look at the other side of the coin here and push back a little bit on dexter and argue that there are two sides to this war. the taliban's opinion polls have been even worse than the afghan government's. it's also deeply corrupt and been involved in the cultivation, the production, the trafficking of poppy. so i think we've got two
relatively unpopular sides and if you look at the polling data, what you have to be careful with, the afghan government still polls notably better than its primary opposition group. so i still think despite the recent events, when you look at the situation in context, we can sometimes overstate the down side of this. i think overall the government appears to be faring better than the insurgency. >> rose: lara? >> hmm, well, i have to say i don't care for polls and i go with gut and what i know about people and human nature and what i've learned over the years is in afghanistan that force carries more weight than anything else and who appears to be the more powerful force. everyone i speak to both on the taliban side and the government side... not in the government specifically but on the afghan side, the non-taliban side say that they are preparing for civil war.
and if you look at the battlefield now, taliban isn't really that interested in the u.s. anymore. their focus is on 2014, post the u.s. they've been systematically going after all the leaders of the non-pashtun groups like the tajiks, the uzbeks, the non-taliban pashtuns and they've been eliminating all the potential competition before the civil war. their strategy is built on that now. they're conserving their manpower on the battlefield. they're using i.e.d.s to disrupt u.s. forces because it's low-cost, low maintenance for them and it works. and they've used some spectacular headline-grabbing attacks but for the most part they are concentrating... taliban commanders have told me and my colleagues in interviews that that's what they're concentrated on. and the statistics on the battlefield bear them out. and, you know, as one very well respected afghan leader said to me just a few days ago in a conversation with an american diplomat, this diplomat he described as being like from the moon for afghanistan.
she was that out of touch. and when she was talking about how... asking why afghans aren't using the security gains to prepare for the upcoming election, when she asked this leader what he thought of that he said to her "madam ambassador, we're preparing for civil war." so i think that my personal feeling is that the u.s. is very out of touch with the reality on the ground there. i don't believe the taliban has any intention of sharing power with anybody and they're not going to use popularity to restore their power, they're going use force. >> rose: zalmay? >> well, i think for the immediate future, of course, the focus has to be to preclude an escalation in tensions between the afghan people and the coalition. i believe that general allen, who is here, needs to go back and meet with the people who have been affected by this massacre and we need to show empathy, sympathy, and also financial support for the victims. and if the rights of the officer
can be protected, if there's an expedited judicial process and as transparent as possible that will be helpful. i worry that our legal process and the requirements of the politics in afghanistan might come into some tension. with regard to the longer term, i think there are two other issues besides what my colleagues have said to keep in mind. one, the assumption that the u.s. will be out of afghanistan by the end of 2014 needs to be examined because at the present time there is the ongoing discussion with the afghans which was making progress in the last few days to keep a residual force of some numbers. some talk as much as 30... maybe 20,000 forces. so a total u.s. withdrawal right now is not being con semi-plaited by the obama administration and second the taliban also had many difficulties.
they're factionalized, there's the group that's based in peshawar that doesn't get along with the group that's base in quetta, the group in quetta is divided, some would like to talk with the u.s. and the afghans, others don't the relations with pakistan is quite difficult. certainly the government has difficulties, the coalition has had problems but the other side has difficulties, too. and therefore i would not be as pessimistic about the prospects assuming we do what is under consideration as has been painted by some of my other colleagues. >> rose: you do not believe this will end up as a "failed mission"? >> i do not believe that is necessarily the case. it's very contingent. it's contingent on what we do. some of the signals earlier that we perhaps will get out all together which was not the intent of the administration in my view but the communication
was a problem, did have a negative effect, increasing corruption because people were hedging that the u.s. was going to leave and they better take care of themselves and also emboldening the taliban. that's being addressed and if we come to a strategic agreement with afghanistan without a significant residual force and continue with a buildup of the afghan forces, there is a good chance that we will not fail there. and i think that still has to be our objective given the alternative. failure in afghanistan will be damaging to us but could increase extremism and terror not only in afghanistan but on places across the region. >> part of what zalmay is seeing are correct but what i see are parallels between the 1980s and today. when i lived with the mujahadeen in the 1980s what i saw among them whether it was haqqani in the east or more liberal types in kandahar, it was a very deep commitment. the glue that held afghanistan together in the 1980s was the
koran. that brought everyone, disparate groups, together. you had seven different political parties, they didn't get along. but the soviet union left and the political parties, even though they fought one another, they created a government. the taliban in my view are exactly the same. they have this deep religious commitment not unlike, in fact, completely the same as the mujahadeen. certainly, yes, haqqani in the south and what's his name in the north? they certainly don't get along. in fact, he hates mullah omar in the south, he feels... he's a former prime minister, former taliban leader, he feels he should be prime minister. again, certainly not mullah omar in the south. so those people do not get along, but they have a common goal. they all want to get rid of the united states. they all want to establish in one form another an islamic government not unlike that mujahadeen in the '80s so i think there are definite parallels. where i think zalmay is right is that the united states does not want to leave a vacuum as the
soviet union left a vacuum into which the taliban and al qaeda came and i don't think we can allow that so i think the government even though sitcom pleatly corrupt and as the taliban would say to me it is better... or afghans would say to me better to be the slave of a master than the slave of a slave. meaning that karzai is seen as a puppet and slave of the americans. so in the end i think the taliban certainly will have a tremendous amount power. will they be able to form a government? that i don't know. the united states is not leaving. >> rose: where does this leave the united states? what can it do? anybody? >> the very hard part here, charlie is that there's not a lot of t united states can do with words. this terrible, terrible incident coming on the back of the burn of the koran, those two things together at a particularly bad time in this war domestically in the u.s. and afghanistan make this much more significant than it would otherwise have been and as one afghan leader said to me,
this is too big to fix with words. too big. and the u.s. now finds itself with no allies. they've made an enemy of the karzai government. the karzai government has had their role in that but essentially the u.s. has consistently undermined karzai, the leaking of the eikenberry cables is a very good example of that. and so the u.s. has the taliban, its enemy, on the one side, and an enemy of the afghan government on the other side and slowly an enemy of the afghan people so you end up with fewer and fewer and fewer people in afghanistan who are able to bridge the cultural divide between the u.s. and the afghan people. there are very dedicated people who have been worked to bring those two things together in pursuit of a common goal which is a better life for most afghan people and a strong functioning government. that hasn't materialized to meet the needs and expectations of
the afghan people. al is may khalilzad talked about it's important what the u.s. does in the judicial process. the afghans want to see this guy hanging from a tree with his head off that's what justice would look like to them and they want it fast. you only have to look at the way justice works in afghanistan to know they're not talking about weeks from now or months from now, they're talking about days from now so of course the u.s. can xi pais compensation to the victims of the families. that's a big deal culturally in that part of afghanistan. it's how things work over there. you have to make proper reparations. whether that will be enough in the situation it's hard to say but an incident like the burning of the koran from everything i'm hearing on the ground, that spread much faster throughout afghanistan even than that this particular incident, as horrific as it was. the big worry the u.s. has now is the erosion of trust because so much of this administration's strategy moving forward with small groups of soldiers working
closely with afghan troops, so much of that puts u.s. forces at risk and without that trust it's very easy for the taliban and others to exploit that insecurity and take advantage of this situation which they have proved time and again in the past they are extremely adept at doing. >> with regard to the short term it's very important culturally, in my judgment for the senior officer to go and show sympathy and empathy for the people. to visit with them. i have been an ambassador and these types of incidented happened then, too, where civilians were killed but it was always very effective to sit down and express one's or rein person and i believe this needs to happen and second i think what lara said about the dilemma with regard to what happens is the faster we can move protecting the officer's rights to deal with this in a fair
manner as quickly as possible would help money will be important and this has to be moved on relatively quickly now balance what lara said with regard to the trust issue, yes, there is a trust deficit between the government of afghanistan and the united states, the administration. but at the same time one has to keep in mind that the afghans are a practical people and they know that they need the united states and the united states knows it needs afghanistan in order to deal with the issues that remain in the region including the residual al qaeda and it's the need that we saw that took place in afghanistan a few months ago where surprisingly there was a consensus for a strategic relationship between afghanistan
and the united states. so, yes, there are problems of course but i think there is a basis for reducing problems and for having a long-term relationship because the alternative for both sides is a lot worse than trying to work to get afghanistan to a better place compared to where it could go. >> rose: on the u.s. side both on what it should and what it should not do, i spent considerable time in afghanistan for u.s. special operations in 2009 working on the strategy from afghanistan and 2010 and then back in 2011 in washington working on it from the pentagon side. over the last several years there have been several different models. one of them that some of the counterinsurgency clan pushed very hard for was large numbers of american forces in
afghanistan to protect the local population. i would say if you look across the last several decades of u.s. involvement and other involvement in counterinsurgencys in other parts of the world-- the philippines, el salvador, colombia-- there's been another model which has been much more effective and that is the use of special operations and intelligence units in a rachg of these countries and a much smaller footprint. i mean, i would say based on these events and where the afghan population is moving in, that model may be more likely and more effective in afghanistan now and that is to pull out most of our conventional forces and focus on training and kinetic action, targeted action from special operations, c.i.a., and other units on the ground. and this would really be instead of pulling out because what we often do is talk about either staying or leaving and it would be a counterinsurgency model
where the united states had to be the predominant military power in afghanistan rather than leveraging afghan national security forces and growing number of local forces. it was counterinsurgency in 2011. it was just smaller numbers of americans supporting afghans doing it >> i think in calling this a counterinsurgency we're ignoring a very important reality here which is that in 2001 the taliban had control of 90% of afghanistan and they were the government of the day. they were thrown from power. they were removed from power and they're fighting to get back to power so they don't consider themselves to be fighting a counterinsurgency they consider themselves to be the legitimate government that is trying to restore its rightful place and that's a very important distinction because we don't get to define what this is. there are two sides in this and they get to define it and they define it very, very differently and that i believe has led us down the wrong track, it's one of the things that blinded us back in 2005 and 2006 and made
us follow a policy that was truly blind to the reality on the ground at the time. >> rose: all right. yes? >> i think we're kind of missing the point here. >> rose: well, that's what i want you tell me. >> we're in the tenth year of this war, ten years we have been been here and if we talk about what is going to take over for u.s. force if and when we leave or down to 20,000 or 30,000, the afghan army? as of last year there was exactly one afghan battalion that could operate independently. one. that's 600 guys. and the military stopped giving those numbers out because obviously it's too embarrassing. and so the idea that we can leave and that we can leave in an orderly way an afghan government and military can stand on its own and fight for itself and pay for its.
these are fictions and something has to change enormously and drastically and very fast. >> rose: what are those choices to make something change dramatically and very fast? >> rose: other than just saying we can't do it. >> if that were the case then we would stop all talk of leaving in 2014. and we would say, look, what we're talking about here is another decade. because that's really what we're talking about. and another x hundred billion dollars. because that's really... i think that... and any sort of... any honest reckoning would come to that conclusion which is the afghan government is basically a criminal enterprise that preys on the afghan people and steals the meshes' money and this is the government we've built and the afghan army is not ready, it cannot stand on its own and it cannot fight for it. >> rose: so in 2014 the taliban come to power? >> well, it would be pretty ugly if we're not there. >> rose: a civil war?
>> absolutely. and when you're in kabul or go to the north or the south you can feel it. as lara said, everybody's making that calculation. >> rose: civil war. >> civil war. and just to remind everyone, this is not just some kind of notional thing. when the soviet union left in 1989 you had a decade of basically it was just a bloodbath. 200,000 afghans dead. where did it end? it ended at 9/11. >> and if we withdraw which, as i said, it's not what the current administration is postulating, in fact, it is discussing at least a ten-year post-20714 presence of some force as part of a strategic partnership agreement. but if we leave we may have to go back again because we have seen this movie before. that's true if we left there will be a civil war, the neighbors will come in. supporting different sides.
the other groups, extremists, will come in and we will have to keep bombing afghanistan from afar given the space of afghanistan-- which is very large-- we have been focused on a very small piece of pakistani territory for the past several years. you add afghanistan to that, it's going to be an unlikely strategy to work so we face the prospect of having to go again. so i think compared to those options or those possibilities, there is the option. i don't agree with mr. filkins on the preparations of the afghan army at this time. i think his data is dated. the current data indicates that substantial progress has been made they have taken over responsibility for a number of provinces and the report from our military is generally
positive. the special forces are conducting a number of operations effectively and i also want to emphasize the difficulties of the other side, the taliban are not what they were a few years ago. they are weaker, the more divided and the more difficulty with their own sponsor, the pakistani government at this time. so i would think it's a much more complicated picture 2014, an inevitable civil war, the taliban take over again. >> rose: okay, the president had a big review. are we better off or worse off today than we were then? >> i would say there are a couple indicators to look at. one is one of the things the u.s. government, nato, and the afghan government try to track is control of territory. who's controlling territory and how does that change over time? i've been back a lot over the past several years and several months.
my discussions with both the afghan and the nato side strongly indicates that the taliban has lost some ground, control of territory in the south. they have made up for it to some degree up in the north. the east and west have been a bit of a wash but the fact that they've lost some ground in parts of kandahar, helmand, southern parts of die kuehne di indicates that they are as zalmay mentioned earlier, they are in some of their key areas weaker than they were, say, in early 2009 when they had increasingly taken rural parts of the country. so the second part that is a little more of a concern is the pakistan side. because the taliban's command and control still sits on the quetta baluchistan front. they have not been targeted either by the americans or by
the pakistan government and i would say long term that an insurgent group's ability to succeed with state support-- which they have from both iran and pakistan-- and an active sanctuary, their probability of winning goes up. so if we're serious about this, something has to be done on the pakistan side with afghan insurgents, not just in afghanistan. >> seth, with all due respect, we've been having that conversation for many years. something has to be done about pakistan in the sanctuaries. and it seems like we come back... i mean, you ask what has been gained since 2009 when they did the strategy review. well, one thing is we've lost three years, i think. we've lost three years. we had three years to seriously address these problems. the american army can shoot its way in and control territory.
but can we hand it off to the afghans? not yet. so i just think that when we come back to the two contradictions, the two fatal contradictions that have defined this war for the past ten years, on one hand it's the afghan government, the dysfunctional afghan government. and the second one is pakistan. and we have not addressed those contradictions. and i don't know how we get around that. >> dave: 2007 to 2008 i lived disguised as a pushtun for two years along the afghan/pakistani border and there isn't a single afghan that i talked to whether it's a tribal chief-- on both sides-- or a common afghan who will not say everything emanates from pakistan. >> i agree completely on the issue of pakistan. i was blown up on the pakistan boarder in 2003 and even at that time u.s. soldiers were being fired upon from the pakistani side of the border and their enemy was disappearing. it was very clear even back them and i've asked every successive
commanding general in united states in afghanistan since about this issue and no one has been able to come up with a decent answer that means anything. the reality is pakistan has not been dealt with and i'm a firm believer it doesn't matter what you do inside afghanistan if you don't deal with sanctuaries inside pakistan because that's the ultimate enabler of the war. and more importantly, you haven't removed the fundamental conditions that gave rise to what happened in 9/11. and you haven't attacked that leadership, you haven't attacked the ideas that gave rise to it. you haven't dealt with that. and one of the problems with staying another ten years in afghanistan is that more and more incidents like the killing of of these people, like the burning of the koran, unintentional as they may be or rogue as they may be, as contradictory to the norm, those are what are defining the u.s. image in the eyes of the world and afghans. it's not the mosques being built the length and breadth of the
country, not the wells. that doesn't make headlines. it feeds the taliban narrative and what i think... i mean, i don't think that corruption can be understated. but i think corruption is endemic in afghanistan and it's been there for from day one. in my experience when 30, 40, 50 guys strap on suicide vests and go and attack a base in khost, as has happened in afghanistan, they're not doing that because of government corruption. they're doing that because of something fundamental and that's what egypt air was talking about and that's not addressed along with the pashtun nationalistic server. they don't want to share powers with uzbeks and tajiks and anybody else. they believe it's their right to rule afghanistan. historically they always have and no ones addressing that element of the insurgency. we just want to overlook it because we don't have an answer for it. >> i just want to come back to the corruption because it has never been addressed you can go,
as i've done... and you can talk to ordinary afghans and they'll tell you the story and the story will be some guy from the afghan government and he plowed my shop down and said "pay me $100,000 or i'm not going to let you run your shop." and he says "i'm going join the taliban." and the afghan government is not... it's not only not combating the insurgency, it's driving the insurgency because... >> i agree with all of that, dexter, but on the other side, the taliban's not doing anything for them, either. so i don't really in the end believe that's what's driving them choose sides. i think that's a convenient excuse that people have been using becauseit's been corrupt from day one. there's no difference now and ten years ago. >> i think on the question of pakistan i think everyone has said the right thing that that is very important. but at the same time, the fact that the taliban are dependent on pakistan is logistically important for them, but it
undermines them in the eyes of the afghan people as was observed by others that many afghans know that the taliban's close relationship with pakistan. although, as i said before, it seems to be some daylight between the two sides and the last visit that president karzai had in pakistan, the i.s.i. chief did tell him that they would produce mullah omar and the other leaders to the negotiations with the afghan government. we will have to see. but it's a very important, however, to recognize that with all the difficulties that exist and one of the things that the obama administration has done wrong in my view is his actions, especially during the last elections, has created a huge trust gap between the government of afghanistan and the united states. but on balance i believe the afghan government and the coalition side is stronger now
than it was three or four years ago and that there is a window, a possibility for a negotiated settlement and abandoning afghanistan going back to the civil war model is going to be certainly a disaster for the afghans but it will also be a huge headache for the united states. >> rose: can they produce them? >> yes, they could produce them. it's a matter of public comment that senior american officials have said that the pakistan government supports both the haqqani network and the afghan taliban. so, yes, i think they without a doubt know the location of mullah omar but other members of the taliban's inner shura. >> so let's make them produce them. produce them all. >> rose: first of all, can we make the pakistanis do anything? >> yeah, you can cut off all the money. >> certainly not. because we are... relations have
been very difficult with them. i think it is... without support the afghans and the pakistani talking to each other may have better prospects but there are some legitimate pakistani interests in afghanistan. and recently, for example, some be milan lucic were fighting in pakistan against the pakistani government, were asked by president karzai to leave afghanistan. well, that's certainly a potentially positive development in the context of a settlement, peacemaking is as hard as war fighting but i think there is a chance that there may be some progress. >> rose: i've got to the get go to seth because he has to leave me to do another commitment. do you think the president has got to make a big decision and what do you think he might be considering if he has to make a big decision? >> well, i think a couple of factors become important. one is how the u.s. deals with this current situation with the
american soldier. zalmay said earlier if this can be dealt with relatively quickly, if justice can occur, i would just again point out that there have been a lot of civilian casualtiesty incidents over the past several years and, frankly, the taliban have committed roughly three quarters of them. so i do think the afghan population will get over this kind of activity if there is a discussion with the elders face to face. but if we get a range of other events over the next several weeks or months, more civilian casualties, this may undermine the u.s. presence and afghan support for the u.s. mission. it's been clear that the afghan support for the american presence has declined over the last several years and i think that will lead to a discussion
over what should the role of the u.s. be. should we transition quicker to a supporting role and let the afghans do it? i would just make one comment on dexter's point, too. and that is if you look at 1989 when the soviets left afghanistan, the regime... both the k.g.b. and c.i.a. predicted an imminent collapse of the afghan government. it survived much longer than anybody predicted. so i think even in this case a karzai government and an afghan national security force needs to take the lead with backup u.s. support would probably do okay in most parts of the country. >> well, you know... i mean, you know that was a... i mean, that was a najibullah... the government that the soviets left behind was a pretty ruthless dictatorship. but i remember i recently had a conversation with an american intelligence officer who said soviet defeat? we would love to have that.
they built a real state and a real army that lasted three years. we'd love to get to that. >> rose: seth, thank you very much i. know you have to go. i think you have to go, but i thank you. let me go to jere and then we'll close this down. >> the reason najibullah was able to hold on was because-- and i observed this myself-- there was a tremendous backinging for communism in afghanistan. the communists had a network throughout the country. i don't think that the karzai government has the same support, the same ideological commitment, that the communists had in afghanistan in the 1980s. there is a war going on in afghanistan today underneath the radar between the mujahadeen... elements of the mujahadeen and the communists. so that's still very much there. and i don't think that najibullah is an accurate way to describe this because he... exactly right, he was completely ruthless. but so was the soviet union in killing over a million people and they both lost. >> rose: okay. suppose what you have suggested
does not happen and you assume the united states know it is obvious which is there's a need for a presence and an empathy and a sharing and grief of all of that that's necessary that we expect at this moment. if that's not enough, what's the worst-case scenario? >> i think then we have to go to a big-power settlement of afghanistan with the chinese, with the indians, with the russians and with some of t other european major powers that see what kind of an afghanistan we want to come out of this and together we would have to work the regional issues and an afghan settlement that replaces the coalition forces from some other forces from the region or under the u.n. but i believe that that will have its own challenges challenges but i think before we leave if we come to a decision we ought to leave that would be a better alternative than outright departure.
if we come to an outright departure and we done get settlement and the other powers to agree then i think it will end up without watching a civil war and then going after targets in afghanistan that reemerges as a threat from afghanistan to the rest of the world. and it will be back to the 1990s environment. remember during the clinton administration we did occasionally send rockets into afghanistan and it will be an unhappy situation for the afghans and for the region and for the rest of us. >> can we make a deal with the taliban? >> rose: and? >> imagine if you're the taliban right now. you know america's on the way up. they're just going to run the clock out. what conceivable... >> rose: how about make a deal and do something later rather than go into a civil war?
>> give the americans a fig leaf to get out. absolutely. so i think the danger here is either... is a kind of sham agreement that allows us to retreat. >> rose: jere? >> the taliban... the united states worked with the taliban in the 1990s. we invited the taliban to use on the, unocal did. this began as a war against al qaeda. this has morphed into a war against the taliban. i do think we can work with the taliban and the big elephant here-- this is a cliche-- in the room is that the pakistanis did not create haqqani and omar and themselves, we were an integral part of that and every afghan on the ground knows very well we were a part of that. >> rose: so they're motivated to produce them? >> pakistan? >> rose: yes. >> of course. >> rose: if informs in fact the united states said we're going to reduce... they'll ask you this. the united states is going to dramatically reduce its aid both military and economic aid to pakistan. would the pakistanis then do all
these things we would like for them to do having to do with conflict in afghanistan or not? >> no, because in my view their ultimate goal is to control... pakistan's ultimate goal is to control afghanistan. >> rose: or have somebody they think is favorable to them. >> the only ones they're comfortable with is the taliban government. it's not just having the indians surround them. they'll say "we lost dhaka, we want kabul." and they also want to establish a... recreate a mogul empire. they want trade routes to sunni central asia and they also-- something people don't talk about-- water to pakistan comes from outside pakistan. it comes from afghanistan, it comes from india. they need in the future to have some access to water. all of these things come into play. >> rose: they want a friendly government in afghanistan. >> their government in afghanistan. their choice. >> exactly. last word to you, sal may before we go back.
>> i think it's prudent on the part of pakistan to have a reasonable settlement of the afghan issue because if the taliban were to come to power in afghanistan they would support their taliban in pakistan which is a big headache for the pakistani government. i believe that there is a chance for a settlement that is reasonable between afghanistan and pakistan. we alone cannot bring this about. i think the kind of threats you mentioned, charlie, won't do the job. i think if we wanted to go that route it will have to be a coalitions including the saudis, the chinese, the russians and the europeans together working on it and pressuring pakistan whether it's regard to security from afghanistan against pakistan, whether there is water issues... there are water issues between various countries could be legitimately dealt with and an inclusive afghan government
could be the result of that. i think there's a chance for that but it cannot happen in the context of a perception that the u.s. is on its way out. it's... it's leaving afghanistan is as long as that perception holds, we alone will not be able to shape the outcome in afghanistan. >> rose: zalmay khalilzad, thank you very much. thank you, lara logan. and dexter filkins, jere van dyk thank you. >> rose: why do people with similar backgrounds often react to the same experience in dramatically different ways? why are some of us resilient to stress while others fall apart in the face of adverse any why is it some people are consistently positive while others wallow in negativity. richard j. davidson has tried to answer these questions.
he's discovered we're all composed of six emotional styles. emotional styles. he's been able to trace these styles to patterns of neural activity, that's the crucial link. a new book "the emotional life of your brain" considers how these patterns affect the way we live and other strategists to change them. joining me the book's authors richard j. davidson, a professor of psychiatry at the university of wisconsin madison and sharon begley, the science editor at ritders. i'm pleased to have both of them at this table. this is a continuation of our series which we call "brain watch." as we look often at the extraordinary developments in understanding the brain as the most exciting frontier of human insights. so welcome. >> thank you so much. >> rose: tell me about what it is that you have discovered and this connection between emotional style and being able to see it in terms of neural activity. >> well, first, one of the most salient characteristics is that
people respond to life's slings and arrows in different ways. some people decompensate quickly in response to stress and other people appear to be much more resilient. from very early on in my career, those are the issues that really captured my attention and my interest. and it was clear it was clear that in order to gain a better understanding of these style wes needed to look inside the brain because the brain is after all organ of our behavior where our emotions are ultimately generated so so the search began with looking for patterns of active they are associated with the variations among people. >> rose: this has been your professional life's primary preoccupation. >> it has. >> rose: why? >> well, it always... it just struck me from early on that that how people respond to these kinds of challenges was the key to understanding why different
people are different in their unique personalities. why some people may be vulnerable to certain psychiatric illnesses and why people may even show a propensity for certain kinds of physical illnesses where stress seems to be an important ingredient in exacerbating. >> rose: and what did your experience with the dalai lama teach you? >>ly experience the dalai lama taught me the central message that emotional styles can change. >> rose: so there's plasticity here? >> that's right. so let's define the difference in emotional style and traits and other things that are not emotional style which is the subject of your focus. >> well we define... >> rose: what's a mood? what's a trait? what's a style? >> okay, so there are a set of terms. a mood can be thought of as a pattern of emotion that persists for minutes or hours. a trait is something that can
persist for a very long time... very long term. but a trait is different from an emotional style because the emotional styles that we describe come directly from neuroscientific research. personality traits, which are commonly study traits predated our understanding of the brain. they are traits like intro version and extra version. or neuroticism. those are traits that emerged very early on in psychology's history before we had a deeper understanding of the brain. the six style wes describe come directly from neuroscientific research. i didn't decide one day that i would think about the styles that characterize our emotional repertoire, but these really emerged over the course of 30 years of work. >> rose: and where do you come into this, shash? >> well, i've covered richie's research for a number of years and i did a book earlier on
neuroplasticity and the last chapter of that book was richie. that book documented the very hard-won revolution in neuroscience as you've talked about with eric kandel. mainly the discovery that, in fact, the brain's structure and function is not set in stone from the ripe old age of three but, in fact, can change radically depending on the life we lead. >> rose: depending on every experience you have. >> exactly. >> rose: and just define for us neuroplastyty, because it's a term that people like me throw around. >> it simply means the ability of the brain-- especially adult brain-- to change its structure and function in response to experience. in response to the life you lead. >> rose: part of what you have discovered and part of the argument you make is in terms of the emotion can can be located in a different part of the brain that we assume emotion comes from. the prefrontal cortex is an area of the brain that is is the
among the most recent to develop in the course of evolution. this is an area scientists consider to be critical for the highest level of human thought. >> rose: right. not emotion but thought. >> thought. based upon our work and the work of many other scientists it seems to be involved in emotion as well as thought. and it's a place where thought and emotion seem to come together. so there are complicated decisions that we make in life which are decisions that are benefited by emotion. decisions such as whether we should marry a particular person or not. or those kinds of life decisions are not decisions that are made based upon a cold cognitive calculus. they are decisions that are made when we appeal to our emotions in the prefrontal cortex playing a very important role in that. >> rose: the dalai lama said focus on compassion. >> he did. when i first met him in 1992 he
said you guys have been using the tools of modern neuroscience to study fear, anxiety, sadness, depression. >> rose: how about these positive qualities? i didn't have a good answer other than it was hard. but it was hard when we studied fear as well. >> rose: he lists here the six dimensions that comprise an emotional style. >> yeah, and and a lot are intuitive. resilience, the ability to bounce back from a saidback. >> rose: that's an emotional style. >> outlook, whether you are essentially positive or negative and how you think the future will play out. self-awareness. we know people who have very much in tune to how fast their heart is beating and other people are completely oblivious. being aware of your bodily signals is an aspect of emotional style. social intuition, being able to
read someone's faces, to figure out what they're thinking. something children and adults who fall along the autism spectrum are very, very... have a great deal of trouble with. >> rose: i can tell the mood of people when they sit at the table. >> then you would rate high. >> rose: i'd rate low in other places. >> another one, perhaps surprisingly, is attention. richie has shown that whether you are able to focus or the opposite of that, how broad your attentional receptivity is, those are all aspects or feed into emotion as well. we all know that when we are emotionally stressed we're not very good at paying attention and what i like about this work is that all of these things are physically real. personality is a human construct but these are things... you see them on the m.r.i., you see them on an e.e.g. readout and they lend themselves to being changed because they're real. >> rose: and you can change your emotional style as you live your life. >> absolutely. emotional styles are being
wittingly or unwittingly affected by our experience and one of the aspirations of this book is that people can actually take more responsibility for their own brain by more intentionally cultivating experiences that that set them on a positive trajectory. >> rose: you can see the change in the brain, the imagery of the brain. >> absolutely. you can. so we've done studies with specific interventions that are designed to promote certain emotional styles. >> rose: has the neuroscience community accepted this? >> we've published the work in really first-rate neuroscience journals. our research on medication has come... meditation has come out in very high-profile journals and in mayor menino m cases it was the first time articles on meditation have ever appeared in these hard-nosed neuroscience journals so i would say it is beginning to be much more... the environment is beginning to be
much more receptive and that's because we're providing mechanisms. and the changes and developments in modern neuroscience have helped tremendously because neuroplasticity is probably the greatest insight of neuroscience over the last decade in terms of general themes. >> rose: one of the things he suggests is s that delayed gratification, if you can practice that then you can develop a higher sense of well-being. >> yeah. and you've just put your finger on one of the important aspects of this. the six elements of emotional style when you say them: resilience. it sounds like everybody wants to be more resilient. outlook, everybody wants to have a more positive outlook. but, in fact, if you are too far at the extreme of any of these dimensions you might have a problem. and just to pick your example, if you have an exceedingly positive outlook then you can, for instance, look at that piece of cheesecake and tell yourself, well, i can eat that and then i'll spend more hours at the gym
everything will turn out fine. so people who have a very positive outlook are bad at delayed gratification because they can't tell themselves that, hold on, maybe that won't turn out very well. so the interesting thing about richie's work on emotional styles, especially the part about how you can intervene to change them is that there's no ideal place along these dimensions. you have to know yourself and figure out whether you want to move toward one extreme or the other. >> rose: thank you very much. pleasure to have you here. thank you. >> thank you so much. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org